In the latest episode of the World Athletics Inside Track Podcast, Ukraine’s 2008 Olympic heptathlon champion Nataliya Dobrynska looks back on some of the highs of her career and talks about life in her new role as a World Athletics Council member.

Chatting to former on-track rival Kelly Sotherton, Dobrynska reminisces about her world indoor pentathlon record, set when winning the 2012 world indoor title. She also discusses some of the challenges faced by up-and-coming Ukrainian athletes, while also outlining some innovations she’d like to see in the sport.

On how it feels to win the Olympic heptathlon title:

“During that era, it felt as though all of us were really close, as though we were all in a line, and so it was always difficult to predict who was going to win. But I’d always try to just concentrate on myself, on my technique, on what I needed to do. Everything and everyone around me didn’t matter.

“When I crossed the finish line, I realised what it meant. But also at the end of a heptathlon, you just don’t want to think about or do anything.”

On her memories of breaking the world indoor record:

“In my memory, it was like yesterday. I remember everything about that competition. I broke the record in Istanbul, and I was back in that same venue last year for the European Indoor Championships and I saw my record being broken (by Nafi Thiam). I was ready for that to happen, though. It had stood for 11 years, which is a long period. It’s not like it had stood for just one or two years.

“After winning the Olympic title in 2008, I struggled with motivation and I wanted to retire. But at the start of 2012 I realised that this was maybe my last chance to do something special in the sport, so that’s what motivated me at the World Indoor Championships.”

On how she has been able to facilitate support for Ukraine in her role as a World Athletics Council member:

“It’s a very difficult and awful time at the moment. You can imagine how we feel. We want our kids to experience a good education and to be involved in sport. The Kids’ Athletics programme from World Athletics has been provided to many of the small cities in Ukraine so that kids can compete and enjoy the sport.

“Despite the war, we still try to hold many competitions in Ukraine. The sport cannot stop, otherwise we may lose the next generation of athletes.”

On what innovations she’d like to see in athletics:

“It feels like the innovation side of our sport is moving fast. I recently heard about an idea that was put forward in basketball where the players play on a giant screen, then different things are projected on to that screen to engage the spectators. Maybe in a few years, we’ll see that technology being used in athletics, with on-track graphics providing analysis for the spectators.”

The latest series of the Inside Track Podcast launched earlier this year, and in each episode the questions are asked by two-time Olympic heptathlon bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton and 2014 world indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty as they catch up with a host of track and field’s biggest names and much-loved personalities.

Episodes are available via all the usual podcast platforms – including on Apple PodcastsSpotify and the Sport Social Podcast Network – while fans can also watch the show on the World Athletics website.

With an evolving presenter line-up for each event, the podcast will be in attendance when the World Athletics Relays returns to The Bahamas in May. Later in the year, an all-star cast will provide reaction to the events at the Olympic Games in Paris.

Find it all on Inside Track.

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